Weekend Open Thread (2011-08-19)

Here is your open thread for the weekend beginning Friday August 19th, 2011. You may post random links and off-topic discussions here. Also, if you have an idea or a topic you’d like to see covered in an article, please make it known.

Be sure to also check out the forums, and get your word in the user-driven discussions there!

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.


  1. 1
    Cheap South says:

    One night back in 1989, I came home with my first new TV, turned it on and the first thing I saw was the news of the San Francisco earthquake during the World Series. I paid $379 for that 20″ Mitsubishi Stereo TV. I bought 2 more TVs after that, and paid the same price (no joke). In the late 90s, a 27″ and in 2004, a 32″. Yesterday I was walking in a store and saw a Samsung 32″ HDTV for $320. Even though that 1989 TV was made overseas, I just had to think about jobs, and quality of jobs. How much would a TV made in the US cost? Would we be better off? What if my daughter’s Aeropostale t-shirts she loves so much were made here?

    Medicaid cuts and state assistance cuts for the elderly in my neck of the woods have caused over 350 layoffs at my wife’s company (in the last 2 days). It was a close call.

    This morning news reported WalMart sales are down. But Dollar Tree are up. WalMart is becoming too expensive.

  2. 2

    Yun is back to proving himself an idiot.

    Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun continued to blame what he called lenders’ over tightening of standards in reaction to the overly loose lending that fed the recent bubble.

    “Affordability conditions this year have been the most favorable on record dating back to 1970, but many buyers are being held back because banks are offering financing to only the most highly qualified borrowers, ignoring a large share of otherwise creditworthy buyers,” he said in the report. “


    Credit is not too tight, nor can it even be described as tight. Apparently Yun doesn’t know about the FHA. Maybe a loan originator can correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the current FHA standards are 96.5% financing with anything over a 580 credit score, and 90% financing with over a 500 credit score.

  3. 3
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Cheap South @ 1 – Assume you live on a farming collective where the sole income of everyone is derived from selling the produce that you grow. The collective’s sole income comes from members of the collective purchasing its own produce. Next door is a farm that you can buy produce from at less than your cost of growing it. Soon, everyone in the collective begins buying the produce grown next door. What happens?

  4. 4

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 2 – 3.5% is still the allowed minimum down payment for FHA financing…and although FHA may allow for that low of credit scores, it may be challenging to find a bank who will go to those credit scores. Most banks/lenders (at least those I work with) have underwriting overlays with a minimum “low-mid” credit score of 620 which come with their own “price hits” for scores under 640.

  5. 5

    RE: Rhonda Porter @ 4 – Thanks Rhonda!

    Even at 640 though, that doesn’t sound like “only the most highly qualified borrowers.”

    Does anyone know what kind of a credit score you typically need for a 0% auto loan?

  6. 6
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 5 – “Does anyone know what kind of a credit score you typically need for a 0% auto loan?”

    Depends on how bad they hose you on the actual price they end up negotiating. The higher the price the more likely you get the 0% unless they recognize that you are really stupid. In that case you end up paying full boat for the car plus all of the extended warranties they can pile on. Somehow your credit score will never be quite high enough to qualify. ;>)

  7. 7
    No Name Guy says:


    “The U.S. is on pace for a record low number of total housing completions this year, and the fewest net housing units added to the housing stock since the Census Bureau started tracking completions in the ’60s.

    Below is a table of net housing units added to the housing stock since 1990. Note: Tom Lawler thinks scrappage is closer to 250,000 units per year.

    This means there will be a record low number of housing units added to the housing stock this year (good news with all the excess inventory), and that the overhang of excess inventory should decline significantly in 2011 depending on the rate of household formation (and that depends on jobs).”

  8. 8

    RE: Pegasus @ 6 – I wasn’t saying the 0% interest loan terms were a good deal! ;-)

    Maybe a better question would be how high of a score do you need for one of the leases advertised? Leases tend to require higher scores because you’re underwater almost the entire term.

  9. 9
    David Losh says:

    It’s unfortunate what has happened here to your site.

    I like, and appreciate, that you have a low, or no moderation policy, but Wow!

    My thinking was that the threads would just run themselves into the ground. It just didn’t happen. Then I thought disengaging would help, and it only made matters worse.

  10. 10
    Bingo says:

    Well, I’m disappointed I checked back into the blog. Fortunately, there were some URGENT UPDATES to the various threads going on.

    Did you know that “he said…that she said…that he said…that they said…that you said…that I said…that he said…that she said…that you said…blah, blah, blah?” When middle school starts up next month, pls pass me a note (better yet, text me).

    I have a generic suggestion. It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Spend some time with your family or a child. It will change your outlook and make for a better week. That’s my plan.

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